Negative self-talk is exactly what it sounds like, putting yourself down and picking out all you’re your flaws. Your brain is used to looking for the negative in things, especially in yourself. We naturally remember negative events more than praise we receive; it’s how our brains are wired. Remember that successful sobriety isn’t just about not drinking, its also about learning to love yourself and changing the way you think internally to be more positive about yourself and the world. Sobriety means mending the relationship you have with your mind.
Below are some examples of how your mind might convince you that you aren’t doing that well and what the reality is.
Its too hard to quit drinking during lockdown:
- Its hard to continue drinking during lockdown as well
- I’ve already drunk through two lockdowns and it didn’t make me feel good
- When I don’t drink, I am taking care of myself. Taking care of myself makes tough times and lockdowns easier
- I am not someone who waits around for the perfect situation to stop drinking. I take action.
What’s the point of quitting drinking when I still have the same problems as before?
- I choose not to drink through my problems which makes them worse
- Sobriety will never fix all my problems; however, it does give me space to work on them
I’m only doing well right now because there are still COVID restrictions, so I haven’t been able to go out drinking:
- I’m doing a really good job because I’ve been able to quit drinking during lockdowns, which has been really difficult for others
- I’ve figured out how to not drink whilst I’m home. Now that we can go out again, I will figure out how to not drink then either.
Remember to make time for things you enjoy. You may feel pressure to be productive during this time, but its important to do things that make you happy, this will likely boost your self-esteem too.
Talking negatively to yourself isn’t going to make anything better. If you stuffed up that presentation, beating yourself up about it isn’t going to make the next one better. When you start thinking these negative thoughts, it can quickly snowball to worse and worse internal dialogue. Even though it may not have gone well, try to focus on what went right and what you learned from the mistakes you did make. It’s true that beliefs are just thoughts we tell ourselves over and over. We can choose a story line that helps lift us up or we can choose one that keeps us stuck where we are.